tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC October 19, 2014 7:00am-9:01am PDT
plus, march ain't got nothing on the madness of midterms. but first, the ebola fear factor. good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry. by now you realize the ebola story is changing virtually every day, every hour, every second. this morning a caribbean cruise ship carrying a texas lab supervisor who handled an ebola lab specimen returned to galveston, texas. the woman had been in isolation aboard the boat after officials in cozumel and belize refused to let her and her spouse come ashore. even before she arrived this morning, a sample of her blood was airlifted back to health officials in texas. the cdc has now asked that all those involved in treating thomas eric duncan, the liberian man who died 11 days ago of ebola, avoid public spaces for
now. this comes after two of the nurses who helped care for duncan were diagnosed with ebola. one of those nurses took a round trip commercial flight from texas to ohio in the days before she was diagnosed, triggering concerns about anyone who may have come into contact with her. it is a lot. i mean between the new cases, the growing criticism of the response from federal health officials and now a new ebola czar, it's a lot. but, everyone, take a breath for a moment. because the next few days may be critical, not just in terms of how we handle the ebola cases, but in how we handle another contagious threat. hysteria. yes, ebola is scary and often deadly. yes, there are more than 9,000 cases around the world. but only three of those have been diagnosed here in the u.s. and getting ebola is not easy. as the cdc points out, ebola is spread through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids of an ebola patient, which is why health care workers are
particularly vulnerable. it is not spread through the error through water. that means that if your child attends a school where a principal just returned from zambia, which is bar from the countries affected by ebola, there's no need to pull your child out of school, like some parents did in hazelhurst, mississippi. it means if students from my je -- nigeria apply to your college, you should not reject them as a junior college did recently in texas. and it seems no one is immune from the repercussions of this fear outbreak. "washington post" photojournalist says he has been disinvited from participating in a journalism workshop at syracuse university, even though he had been back from liberia for 21 days, the incubation period established by the cdc,
and does not have any symptoms of ebola. dr. richard besser, the chief health editor for abc news and former top cdc official says his speech on pandemics at case western university was recently cancelled. in an op-ed for "the washington post" he writes ironically the university cancelled by visit because i had recently returned from a 10-day trip covering the outbreak in africa. the level of risk posed by my appearance was vanishingly small, but fear won anyway. in this moment of uncertainty, the reaction to the appearance of ebola in the u.s. has run the gamut from reasonable precautions to the seemingly ridiculous. take the texas man who called 911 from a restaurant in ft. worth asking for an ambulance after he said he was, quote, exposed to an ebola pilot. >> i'm sitting next to him having dinner and he just revealed that he's been in the european countries, including
west africa. >> yeah. that reaction may seem extreme and geographically not the best but it's not totally unexpected given what we've seen in the media coverage and frooechb some lawmakers. from the head of the cdc testified on capitol hill last week, the question was asked over and over. it was something about the cdc and the president have already said won't work, a travel ban on passengers coming to the u.s. from west africa. >> the president does have the legal authority to impose a travel ban because of health reasons, including ebola. >> i want to join with chairman upton in urging the president to immediately institute a travel ban until such time that they can firmly and scientifically prove that americans are safe from having more ebola patients coming into the united states. >> and this is the question the american public is asking, why are we still allowing folks to
come over here and why once they're over here is there no quarantine. >> the concern, the understandable concern from private citizens and public officials led president obama to use his weekly address to once again call for calm. >> it's a serious disease but we can't give in to hysteria or fear because that only makes it harder to get people the accurate information they need. we have to be guided by the science. we have to remember the basic facts. >> yes, the facts may be our best weapon. not only against the ebola virus, but against any of the side effects of paranoia and hysteria. for more on what's next for some of the health care workers who have been dealing with ebola, nbc's sarah dallof joins us from dallas. sarah, what can you tell me about that health care worker who returned aboard the cruise ship this morning? >> reporter: well, good morning, melissa. that ship docked at 6:00 a.m.
eastern time and the health care worker and her spouse were off it in just minutes, well before the other passengers and they were put in their car and drove home after that. officials say she never had any fever, she never had any symptoms or signs of ebola and yet she and her spouse voluntarily self-quarantined in their room. at one point a blood sample was picked up by a coast guard helicopter and flown to austin here in texas for testing for ebola. everybody is now off that ship. they're going through a sanitizing process. some fogger machines, surfaces wiped down, all of those things before passengers form a new cruise aboard that ship. it's going to set sail this afternoon again. so a deep clean and then the passengers back on and setting sail again. officials say there really wasn't any risk because as the cdc says only a person who is actively symptomatic with ebola can infect other people. now, meanwhile here in dallas,
it is a critical weekend. the list of 48 people, those people who initially came into contact with thomas eric duncan before he was admitted with ebola, their 21-day monitoring period for many of them is set to expire monday morning at 12:01. that includes his fiancee and her family. no one in that group has shown any signs or symptoms of ebola thus far. now, as far as the group of 75 health care workers who came into contact with duncan after he was admitted, they are currently in their monitoring period. officials say about 25 of those people chose to spend the light last night in the hospital out of concern that they could expose their families to ebola if they became symptomatic. so far, however, melissa, that has not happened and a lot of people watching and waiting for that first group to expire from their 21-day monitoring period and keeping an eye very closely on the 75 remaining people. back to you. >> thank you so much.
nbc's sarah dallof in dallas, texas. joining me from new orleans, louisiana, is dr. corey herbert. he's ceo of community health tv. all right, dr. herbert, i'm going to run down some of the big fears and get your responses. i do think they reflect some of the myths and fears i've been hearing from a lot of people and i just figured let's get them on the record here. so, first, is ebola airborne? >> no. ebola is not airborne at all. what we do know is that fear will spread a lot faster than ebola. people are making irrational decisions because of their irrational fears. let's talk about whether ebola is airborne. myself and my investigative team have done a lot of work on this so ebola is not airborne. however, we have uncovered a few samples of data out of the
canadian public health service that did show two animal species contracting ebola from each other, that we can't really explain how those animal species did contract it. but that was not a reproduced study. it has not been done again and i just want people to realize that we know that it's never been shown in human beings. so i put that out there because i don't want people going on the internet finding that and saying, oh, no, no, no, it is airborne. no, it is not. that's the only thing i found with my team. >> so speaking of air, as we're getting up towards the busy holiday travel season, everybody wants to know is it safe to fly? >> yes, it is safe to fly. the only way that it would not be safe to fly is if there is a person with active ebola infection on you, and basically they threw up in your lap. let's be very clear. we did dodge a bullet when the nurse flew from dallas to cleveland because if she had
thrown up in somebody's lap or had done something that exposed other people to her bodily fluids, then that could have been an issue for that person sitting next to her but not for anybody else. so, no, you cannot catch it from a plane. >> apparently according to a current "washington post" poll, 43% of americans are worried that they or a relative are going to catch ebola. what is the likelihood that those 43% of people actually are in fact going to catch ebola? is that likely or unlikely? >> no. because when are they going to come in contact with someone who has it. as you mentioned earlier, health care workers are at a bigger risk because they're actually coming in contact with people that have ebola at the time when they have the symptoms and at the time when the symptoms are so severe they're shedding their bodily fluids. you catch me? so if you're at home and just start feeling -- oh, i don't feel good, you're going to go to the hospital but that's long before you start the vomiting and having all the shedding of the bodily fluids that you would
do at your home. so no, they will not get it general generally. now, we have to be very clear here that anything could happen, but we're talking about probabilities. >> right. "the new york times" is reporting that there are many increasing basically conspiracy theories around ebola. so is ebola a conspiracy and is the cdc lying to the american people? >> no, the cdc is not lying to the american people, they're being very clear. as a matter of fact, they're being overly clear and overly cautious now with this thing on the cruise ship. i don't really think it was necessary but i think they dropped the ball at the very beginning saying they want to be as cautious as they can. the whole thing out there now is should we close the borders. that's the political pundits new thing. i just want to be clear about this. should we close it? maybe, maybe not. but there's really no scientific evidence to say that we should close the border. nor would it make any political
sense. the reason why is because the last time we closed the borders, it was in the '80s, it was during reagan's era. it was because of hiv, right? so did we close the borders? yes. ebola, did we close the borders and have we closed the borders now? no. both of those viruses are not airborne, let's be very clear. but let's think about sars and the swan flu. sars and the swan flu are both airborne. they have killed over 300,000 people. >> yep. >> but we have not closed the borders because of those two. so it would be a political nightmare as well as no scientific sense at all if we closed the borders for this nonairborne virus. >> thank you to dr. corey hebert in new orleans. my friend just keeps telling me, just go get your flu shot. >> that's what you need to do. >> stay right there, everybody. up next is how the supreme court just may have decided the outcome of texas elections. gund.
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in just 16 days, voters will head to the polls in the midterm elections and cast ballots that will determine the direction and the tenor of american politics. up for grabs are 36 seats in the senate, all 435 house seats and the governor's office in 36 states. and one of the most closely watched of those gubernatorial elections is the race for texas governor between democratic candidate and texas state senator wendy davis and the republican candidate, texas attorney general greg abbott. now, there are many factors that will help determine the outcome of the texas election, the quality of the candidates, their performance in debates, political ads explaining their positions and attacking their opponent. but at 5:00 a.m. saturday morning, one of the things that could be among the most
important determinants of what happened there november 4th came not from inside texas politics but from hundreds of miles away in washington, d.c., because all of the voters in texas will now be subject to the will of just six people, the supreme court's conservative majority whose approval saturday morning of texas' strict voter i.d. law will allow the restrictive voting policy to be in effect on election day. the court offered no explanation for its decision. but, justice ruth bader ginsburg, otherwise known as the notorious rbg joined by sonia society merit and alana kagan explained why the decision her colleagues reached was the wrong one echoing the findings of the u.s. district judge who struck down the law last week. justice ginsburg writes that, quote, senate bill 14 operates as an unconstitutional poll tax. senate bill 14 may prevent more than 600,000 registered texas
voters, about 4.5% of all registered voters, from voting in person for lack of compliant identification. a sharply disproportionate personal of those voters are african-american or hispanic. joining me now, sandra lily, editor for the latino page at nbcnews.com. cornell brooks, the new president and ceo of the naacp. nicholas confessore and alphonso aguilar, who is executive director for the american principals project latino partnership. so nice to have you all here. i want to start with you. how big and how consequential is this decision? >> listen, the federal district judge in texas wrote an 150-page ruling last week. she basically slammed it and said this is an unconstitutional poll tax because if you look at how difficult it is for some people in texas, if you are in a rural location and do not have a car and it takes you over three
hours to get to a place to get an i.d. and then they'll reject what you bring in, then that doesn't make it very easy for people to vote. the funny thing is there is no voter fraud. they have done so many studies on this and there just isn't any voter fraud so why make it harder for people to go out and vote. there was an instance of a young lady, these twins that was used last year in court. they were born in texas, they are students at the university of texas but their parents didn't have any money to pay for car insurance so they didn't have a driver's license. it would have been hard for them to vote. so if you make it hard for someone born in the state who has a university i.d., then it's pretty hard. >> so university i.d. is an interesting part of the story because when you look at the kinds of i.d. that can be used in texas, you can use your gun registration, but you cannot use your college voter i.d. if the point is to address fraud, right, and so i think there's a preponderance of the evidence suggesting there isn't fraud but if you believe there is and the goal is simply to
provide an i.d. so you can determine, why would a gun i.d. be okay but not a college i.d.? >> i don't know. i leave that up to the legislators in texas. i'm probably the minority here that it's much ado about nothing. we have to understand that they followed in texas this law in the last three elections and there's no evidence that voters who were disenfranchised -- by the way, this is not going to decide the race for governor. greg abbott is doing very well and will probably win. >> let me say i agree with you on that, but that's not the only election occurring in texas. >> but justice ginsburg to agree with plaintiff and say as many as 600,000 voters will be disenfranchised, where does she come up with that number? those numbers are really fabricated. >> they're not fabricated and the -- >> there's evidence of voter fraud as well. >> no. >> oh, yes. >> let me back all the way up. let's say that six people were
disenfranchised, not 600,000. and let's say that it caused over -- cost 50 cents. don't we have a constitutional amendment that says no poll taxes? and even if it were six people who were disenfranchised that that itself is a wrong within the u.s. system? >> it's absolutely wrong and it's also irrational for the idea that one uses to carry a college textbook not to be a valid form of i.d. to vote but an i.d. that allows you to carry a weapon would be a form of i.d. that allows you to vote. it's irrational, it's unconstitutional, it's an imposition on the american public -- i should say on the citizens of texas. and the fact that we can sit here and talk about this as though it is a minor inconvenience, it's not. >> nick, i guess part of what i find distressing is that this decision, like all of the other
voter decisions that came down, all of which will be in play for this election, were issued in ways that weren't about the court hearing and then giving us a full ruling. and it does kind of feel like -- so your point that i'll leave that up to the legislatures, iekt that. but if you're going to rule on something that is going impact the core of american democracy, that is voting, could you please give me a ruling and explain to me why you're doing it. >> it's fairly typical of them to be like that on these things but the presumption is that they agree with the lower court that it's too late in the game to change it, that it would create disruption and create confusion. what's interesting to me is if you -- if the court's thinking was we should get rid of this requirement, it's hard to see if you come to the polls and you've gone to the trouble to get the new i.d. and it turns out you don't need it, okay, fine, you're good. but if you go to the polls and you needed one and you couldn't
get it and you're blocked, that is a much bigger position to me. >> that's pretty much what the attorney general said. he said the least confusing thing is to provide access to the largest number of people. stick with us, we've got much more on the midterms. still to come this morning, understanding gamergate and the woman whose life is being threatened. up next, what martin luther king jr. did to get arrested on this day in 1960. loving veg etab. well vegetables... shh! taste better in our savory broth. vegetables!? no...soup! oh! soup! loaded with vegetables. packed with taste. what does an apron have to do with car insurance? every time you tie on an apron, you make progress. and we like that. because progress
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while in custody. and with no time to lose, they reached out to the presidential campaign of john f. kennedy. after a careful bit of maneuv maneuveri maneuvering, kennedy called dr. king's wife, a pregnant coretta scott king, and kennedy told mrs. king that he was thinking about them and, quote, if there's anything i can do to help, please feel free to call on me. kennedy's brother, bobby, also called. this time the judge in georgia, and king was released shortly afterwards. the phone call between john frchlts kennedy and mrs. king was over within two minutes. it received only a brief mention in "the new york times," but african-american communities got the message loud and clear. king's father, martin luther king sr., a prominent minister known to many as daddy king had previously endorsed richard nixon, but after that call, he switched allegiances, praising kennedy for his moral courage to stand up for what is right.
this man was willing to wipe the tears from my daughter-in-law's eyes, he said. nearly three weeks later, kennedy won 70% of the african-american vote and one of the closest presidential elections in u.s. history. a defining moment in electoral politics spurred in part by the response to dr. martin luther king's arrest at an atlanta department store on this day, october 19th, 1960. i have the worst cold with this runny nose. i better take something. dayquill cold and flu doesn't treat your runny nose. seriously? alka-seltzer plus cold and cough fights your worst cold symptoms plus your runny nose. oh, what a relief it is. a hi.ty? i'm new ensure active clear protein drink. clear huh? my nutritional standards are high. i'm not juice or fancy water. i've got 8 grams of protein. twist my lid! that's three times more than me. 17 vitamins and minerals. and zero fat! hmmmm. you bring a lot to the party!
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launch $800,000 in ads in atlanta and an additional $200,000 is soon to come. meanwhile georgia's gubernatorial race is giving deep south democrats even more reason for hope. state senator jason carter, the democratic candidate who also happens to be the grandson of president jimmy carter is running neck in neck with republican incumbent governor nathan diehl. but those democratic hopes in those two very tight races where increased turnout between voters of color make all the difference could be dimmed by the outcome of a dispute over african-american voter registrations. last week a lawsuit filed in georgia alleged that more than 50,000 african-american voters newly registered by the group called new georgia project are missing from state records which jeopardized their ability to vote on election day. but thursday, georgia's secretary of state fired back at those claims saying his office has confirmed nearly 40,000 of those voters are on the rolls with an additional 10,000 on a
pending list of voters who still need to confirm their identity. so, cornell, it does seem that there's some democratic hope in georgia. the democrats started to send some money, but it is going to rest on primarily voters of color, especially african-american voters. the cover of "the new york times," the black vote being seen as the last hope. you've got cornell belcher, who is a pollster, writing african-american surge voters came out in '08 in, '12 but not positioned to do so in '14. over half aren't even sure when the midterm elections are taking place. so for all the money they're pouring in, are they pouring it in the right place? >> clearly we need to focus on turning out the african-american vote. what's critically important to remember here is in georgia we have an organization with the naacp that's registered 10% -- at least 10% of those voters who were unregistered in places
where those votes are often neglected and discounted, in rural communities, older voters, african-american voters, black and brown voters. so the point being here where 60% of unregistered voters could tip and turn the election, it's important for us to reach out. the naacp has been doing that on the ground. i think that's a positive note. but overall it is very sobering, very sobering that those votes are being forgotten, particularly at a moment where this is the first election in a generation where the american electorate is unprotected by the voting rights act. >> okay. so this point i think is such a key one. nick, it runs to the point that midterm elections are so different than presidential elections. even that language by belcher that it's possible that a large proportion of a group of voters don't even know when the election is occurring because there's just much lower information. like backing up for a second and just looking at health of democracy as opposed to sort of georgia, if there is a circumstance where you have such
surge and decline and midterms are really a different population who are showing up to vote, is it still -- is it still an accurate reading, temperature taking of what a group of people actually want for their representation? >> you know, you don't vote -- if -- i'm not sure you can argue that it's not fair. people have to vote. it's up to them to vote. they have to come out to vote. if you don't vote, you're not part of the conversation to say who's going to be in there. it's everybody's duty to get out and do it, so i'm not one of those people that's going to say, well, if half the country isn't voting, it's their fault if they aren't voting. >> this is an interesting idea, right? i hear you saying it's the first time in a generation you're not protected by the vra. i hear you saying we're americans, we're rugged individualists. we're not in a place where you are required to vote so you've got to get out there and do it. how do we -- if we look at a place like georgia where you have this changing demographic reality that may or may not turn into a changing electoral
reality. >> i agree with both. we all know the data and know young voters, we know that young voters, a lot of voters, low income voters, don't traditionally vote as much as as older, more affluent voters, so i think the parties have missed an opportunity. a lot of latino voter groups are saying the parties have really missed an opportunity before the midterms to inject more funding, direct contact. there's a lot of studies that show just that phone call, that direct phone call makes such a difference with voters. so i think it's in the middle. yes, we all should be voting but it helps to get someone to the polls first. >> what's interesting in georgia as well is that the state democratic party has been moribund for years and years there. it's largely outside groups that saw the surge in the hispanic population and looked at the proportion of voting age african-americans who were not registered, which is enormous.
>> and said there's an opportunity here. >> if we can just register these people. >> but to be fair, i think the demographics at this point still favor republicans. and when it comes to the alien toe -- >> in terms of the voting demographics. >> oh, absolutely, absolutely. in terms of georgia the hispanic community has grown incredibly, but the electorate is still very small. to make a difference, the vast majority would have to vote and that's not going to happen. >> demographics need not necessarily -- we saw that story about daddy king and they got 70% of the vote. if republicans could get 30% of the black vote right now, that would be game over for democrats around the country, right? so it's interesting. on the one hand you have rand paul saying i think we could go back to 1960. i don't mean that, but i mean that we could end up with 10, fitch, 20% of the black vote. on the other hand, i do -- i just want to play this one little bit of campaign commercial. it is a local campaign
commercial, but it is coming from the national gop, from the national republican party, because it strikes me as a party that might be confused about whether or not it wants minority voters. let's take a listen. >> niko jenkins was released from prison early after serving only half his sentence. the head of the omaha police union said jenkins is the poster child for why the good time law is a farce. brad ashshored supported the good-time law and still supports it, allowing criminals like niko jenkins to be released early. >> this is a nebraska campaign but it comes from the national gop and it just is willie horton, i mean it just is. >> but to say somehow that it's racist just because they're making reference -- >> i didn't say it was racist. >> no, but that was the allegation. i think it's a fair attack considering that under this law there have been cases of convicted felons being released and then when they're out committing serious crimes. i think it's a valid point.
>> i'm going to let you weigh in. >> a willie horton 2.0 ad in addition to the voting rights act being gutted in addition to a machiavellian set of strategies to disenfranchise the american voters, it is not unreasonable for american voters, black and brown voters, to conclude you don't want us to participate in the democratic process. that's a fact. >> stick with us. as you can see by looking at the screen, we dub our segment this morning midterm madness. now, in part that's because of the multiple contests going on all at once, just like ncaa's march madness. but what i'm going to show you next, the new ads starring famed or infamous cliven bundy is just one of old madness. you get used to the pet odors in your couch.
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sometimes a political ad speaks about the accomplishments of a candidate. other times a political ad speaks about the shortcomings of a candidate's opponent. and then, then there are those times when a political ad just speaks for itself. this is an ad released this week. a member of the independent american party at a candidate for congress in nevada. now, you've probably never heard of him, which is okay, because the real star of this ad is a guy up heard way too much about, cattle rancher cliven bundy who you'll remember from his april armed standoff against the federal government and his suggestion that african-americans were better off during slavery. he makes a cameo appearance in this ad, clarifying and expanding upon those views. >> i know black folks have had a hard time with slavery and, you know, the government was in on it. the government is in on it again. i worked my whole life without mistreating anybody. a man ought to be able to express himself without being called names. >> i hear you, cliven, i believe
you. a brave white man like you might be just what we need to put an end to this political correctness stuff in america today. >> sir, sir, we're not even going to talk about it because just speaks for itself. i'm not sure how my table is going to top that for jaw-dropping moments in this political season. >> i've got nothing. is that a real candidate? is that a parody? >> i tried to get my executive producer to film a parody of that with me but it was already parodied. so give me a moment of your own. >> i would say last week at the colorado senate debate, cory gardner being challenged by the debate moderator. >> it's so good. let's listen to it for just a second and then i'll let you talk about it. >> you continue to deny that the federal life of conception act, which you sponsor, is a personhood bill to end abortion
and we are not going to debate that here tonight because it's a fact. your co-sponsors say so, your opponents say so and independent fact checkers say so so let's talk about what this entire episode may say about your judgment more broadly. it would seem that you have a difficult time admitting when you're wrong and a less charitable interpretation is that you're not telling us the truth. which is it? >> i think, again, i do not support the personhood amendment. the bill that you're referring to is simple low a statement that i support life. >> i mean that was a moment. >> you know, sometimes when you're a reporter you have like a long windup to your question and you want to bake some things into the question? that was a windup. we're not going to debate if you're misleading everybody, we're only going to ask what does it mean that you're doing that? that's like an aggressive moderator and i applaud aggressive moderators in debates, but that's quite a moment, i think, for cory gardner. >> that was definitely the reporter becoming the story in that case.
give me a favorite moment. >> i've got a good one. allison lundergan grimes refused not once, but twice to say if she voted for barack obama in 2012. >> again, it's so good. let's just take a moment and take a look at this because it really is a crazy, wonderful moment. >> why are you reluctant to give an answer on whether or not you voted for president obama? >> bill, there's no reluctancy. this is a matter of principle. our constitution grants here in kentucky the constitutional right for privacy at the ballot box, for a secret ballot. >> you won't answer that question tonight? >> again, you have that right, senator mcconnell has that right. every kentucky an has the right for privacy at the ballot box. >> that is just the wrong answer to that question. >> seriously? mcconnell accepted that he voted for romney. >> now, that was one of those moments when you're just thinking, you're just better off to stand on -- even if people
disagree with you, just stand on something. >> that's the desperation of distancing herself from barack obama and it's gotten to a point where the democratic senatorial campaign committee has removed the ads in support of her in kentucky. >> what's your favorite moment so far or one of your favorite moments so far? >> well, in new hampshire in a congressional race, a young latino republican versus a democratic incumbent congresswoman and a republican colleague of the hispanic candidate thought he was helping but he was so obnoxiously off what he said about women, he compared the looks. >> let's look at what he said. he wrote does anyone not believe that congressman annie koster is as ugly as sin. she looks more like a drag queen than most men in drag. this in a state where people are very proud that it's all female delegation. >> and it made the republican candidate have to defend the democratic incumbent by saying that it was unfortunate that they bring up women, you bring
up looks. so talk about someone not really helping your campaign. >> it's worth point out that the challenger did come out and say this is not acceptable. give me a favorite moment, cornell. >> so having governor scott refuse to come onstage to debate because former governor crist had a personal fan -- >> yes. he's carried the fan as his friend. it has its own twitter account. it's a real thing to him. >> it is florida, it is warm. >> yeah, but at this point he's beyonce. at this point he's like traveling with his own personal wind machine. it's not -- no, you can't. that's a no. all right. my favorite moment, of course, is always flotus and she did such an mhp thing. she got the name wrong over and over again while she was campaigning in iowa, but that said she then got this so, so right so as we go out we're
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in march the emerge ens of the ebola virus marked the beginnings of a global health crisis. just weeks ago with the diagnosis of thomas eric duncan it became a u.s. public health emergency. now it appears the ebola virus has become a midterm election issue. when reports first surfaced of the arrival of ebola in the u.s., thom tillis became one of the first to question the obama administration's response to the virus and called for a ban on travel into the u.s. that call has since been joined by mostly other republican lawmakers and was one of the most often repeated lines of questioning at thursday's house hearing on ebola. tillis has since doubled down on
his politicalization of ebola joining other candidates like new hampshire senate candidate scott brown in making the tenuous link between the voi russ and border security. >> senator hagan has failed the people of north carolina and the nation by not securing our border. lanl, we've got an ebola outbreak. >> if people are coming in from normal channels, can you imagine what they can do through a porous border? and that's why i advocated and pushed and really called senator sha 9 out on that issue because she's not voted not to cure the border and it's so critically important that we really use every tool. >> the fact is kay hagan fell right into this trap. first was for the border and then against the border and then for the border. she's flip-flopping on this. is ebola going to decide the midterm election, anybody? >> i don't think it's going to
decide it. you know, we're at that stage in the election where as more things come in that seem to like fit into the narrative of certain voters, that things are kind of out of control, that like whoever is in washington, and this could be an independent voter, just doesn't quite know how to make it work. you know, what's happening over there. i think the more things like that pack in in these last couple of months, it's pretty bad -- >> that's a refrain that we have this and the new information gets ordered in what we already think. cornell. >> but i think appealing to moms and dads on the basis of the ebola virus smacks of a campaign of desperation. and to the extent that that makes a candidate look weak and lacking in leadership, it's a bad thing. >> that's interesting. >> it's a dangerous thing. >> so even though on the one hand it might stoke fears, it might also look like all you can talk to me about is ebola? we know that you're not -- it
should not be a partisan response. >> the problem here is, and this is the problem with the situation of ebola, is that people are panicking. as you were saying at the beginning of the show, there is fear, there is overreaction, so it's easy to play politics with it. so they look desperate because they're reflecting what people think. now, i think -- >> and shaping some of it too. so they're both reflecting it but also by bringing border into it, tillis and others are shaping our belief that that is the thing that will make us feel safe. >> i agree. i think president obama didn't help himself and democratic candidates by not getting in front of the issue and reassuring the american public that the cdc is taking care of this, and i think they are. but the perception is that they're not. so is it appear october surprise? i don't think it's going to decide the election but it's going to have an impact that favors republicans. >> i think in tight races you use anything. who's in charge, like nicholas is saying, the tying of immigration and ebola and all the dark forces are trying to do
us harm. everything, all these symbols can be very effective in some of these states in very tight elections. >> a month ago it was really a question about isis and whether or not the obama administration had responded sufficiently to isis. you see far fewer discussions on isis. thank you to sandra lilley, nick confessore and alfonso aguilar. still to come, the woman at the center of gamergate. plus citizen radios, allison kill kenny and jamie killstein. but first the stunning, heart breaking story of a woman who wrote to her family saying she feared for her life. ten days later, she was found dead. her story at the top of the hour. tionist) gunderman group. gunderman group is growing. getting in a groove. growth is gratifying. goal is to grow. gotta get greater growth. i just talked to ups. they got expert advise, special discounts, new technologies. like smart pick ups. they'll only show up when you print a label
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fyour everyday dishes will only go so far. literally. you had to go deep into the cupboard. embarrassingly deep. can this mismatched mess be conquered... by a little bit of dish liquid? it can if it's dawn ultra. it's more concentrated... ...just one bottle has the grease cleaning power of two bottles of this bargain brand. here's to the over-extended family gathering. dawn, it's amazing what a drop can do. i have the worst cold with this runni better take something. dayquill cold and flu doesn't treat your runny nose. seriously? alka-seltzer plus cold and cough fights your worst cold symptoms plus your runny nose. oh, what a relief it is. welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. now, whether you binge watch or ration the episodes "orange is
the new black" the hit series about an all women's prison is deeply engrossing television. we laugh, our jaws drop, we sit at the edge of our seats in anticipation, because we care about the characters. for as much as the show succeeds in keeping us entertained, it also provides a three-dimensional view of incarcerated people. the show's creators, producers and writers create rich characters with histories and trajectories that have led them to this moment behind bars. people who despite a conviction and sentence have families and dreams and quirks all their own. it's that humanity that we find most valuable, most relatable, and making us feel that the humanity of people that society is all too often ready to wipe out of our collective consciousness is perhaps the most ground-breaking achievement of the scripted drama. but what i'm holding right now is not a script. it's a letter. it's a declaration of fear and a
plea for help. it was written by a woman who was desperate to escape what she considers a threat to her life. this letter was handwritten in mid-september by latandra ellington, a 36-year-old woman, a mother of four and an inmate at lowell correctional institute. she wrote he told me he's going to beat me to death. he was all in my face, then he grabbed his radio and said he was going to bust me in the head with it. she ended the letter asking the aunt to call the prison and express concern for her safety. when ellington's aunt called the prison, she said an official told her he would make sure her niece was looked after. less than 24 hours later, ellington, the 36-year-old mom, was dead. her body was found in a confinement cell. she was separated from the general population because as a florida department of law enforcement spokesman said, the department took the threats
seriously. but it was not another inmate ellington feared. she did not mince words in her letter. she was afraid of a correctional officer. when she wrote to her aunt saying she feared for her life that, quote, he was going to beat me to death, that quote, he was all in my face, she was referring to one of the very people who was supposed to keep her safe. now, to be clear, we do not know why latandra ellington is dead or who is responsible. ellington's family hired an aunt and paid for a private autopsy which showed that she suffered blunt force trauma in her abdomen consistent with being kicked or punched. a spokesman for the florida department of corrections said ellington's death is currently under investigation so the department is unable to comment on any details at this time. we do not know who was involved in ellington's death, but we do know that she had seven months left of a 22-month sentence for filing fake tax returns. we do know her punishment carried out by the state issued was not a death sentence.
we also know this in florida, ellington's case is hardly isolated. the "miami herald" reports that she is one of four people to die while in custody at lowell correctional, this year. the state corrections department is investigating all four deaths and that's just at one facility. there are 108 open investigations into inmates who died while in florida state custody, according to ellington's attorneys. deaths of men like darren rainey, a mentally ill inmate who died after being locked inside a scalding skin separating fire. and one who died after officers fired noxious gases into his cell. as they investigate excessive use of force, julie brown at the "miami herald" has been following every development in this case, helping us learn more about the people who have died while in the state's custody. julie brown, investigative reporter with the "miami herald"
is with me now. first of all, thank you for your reporting on this. my understanding is that you have some new reporting this morning. >> yes. we are hearing a little bit more about the case involving ellington. we are also hearing a little bit more about another death that had happened earlier this year at charlotte correctional institution. and there is somewhat of a pattern that we keep hearing not only with those deaths but the oar ones that i have been writing about and they involved cases in which the people who may know the information aren't questioned right away. the reports that they submit are very sketchy or they contain the same language, almost as though one person writes the report and they're all sort of minim mimeographed, copied and signed by everyone. one of the issues with all these cases is a lot of these cases happen in areas where theoretically there should be video, and we keep hearing over
and over again, whoops, the camera didn't work. the video was erased. it's too blurry and fuzzy for us to see. you know, so the question is raised why are these things happening time and time again and why haven't they been corrected, knowing, as we have, that there have been these problem situations in these prisons involving inmates who come out of there and some of them with very horrendous injuries. >> i keep thinking that we're in a moment when our national conversation is being shaped by what's going on in ferguson, missouri, and the idea of police officer force and a questioning of police officer force. but in the case of correctional officers, it can be harder to get that public concern because these are the people that we shunt to the side. but ellington was in jail around 22 months around an issue with tax filings. this is not a death sentence.
how do we -- how do we get people to ask those same, tough questions? >> well, quite frankly i'm getting bucketfuls of mail from loved ones all over florida who have long been concerned about this, and the letters that i am getting do often concern inmates that are in there on prescription drug offenses. you know, we have very strong sentencing guidelines in florida and also federal guidelines, and half the people in the prison system in florida are nonviolent offenders. and one of the inmates, randall jordan oparo was in for check forgery, 17 months for check forgery. darren rainey, he wasn't really a violent inmate as well. he had a lot of mental illness. and he just -- he was agitated. a common theme with some of these cases where they end up dead is the guards will agitate
these people. they'll pound on their cells, they'll -- in the case in charlotte that i was going to bring up, you know, the secretary did recently fire ten officers in connection with the death of matthew walker, 45-year-old inmate who died in april, after a cell extraction. the key part of that story that i don't think has been really told is those ten correctional officers had commanders, and those commanders had told those officers repeatedly, i mean had, quote unquote, chewed them out for not enforcing this policy that they had enacted where they had to go in, even in the middle of the night, and make all these inmates, who are already in situations where they're hot, i mean these are not happy places to be in to begin with, so they wake them up at 1:00 in the morning and say, hey, you've got to clean your cell. they're in there yelling and screaming at them at 1:00 in the morning. they were told to do this.
they had powerpoint presentations by their bosses. >> why? why are their bosses telling them to harass them? is there some motivation for it? >> i mean i don't think anybody really knows the answer to that question right now why they do that. i will tell you one thing, even though there were ten officers, rank in file officers who were summarily fired in connection with that case, the assistant warden was promoted, the colonel was promoted after this happened, the warden is still there. i mean this we have seen a pattern of whenever there is a suspicious death, there is a bunch of people who are always promoted. >> stay with us, when we come back i'm going to bring in a couple more voices, including piper kerman, author of "orange is the new black." also the lawyer representing latanda's family. stick with us.
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reporting by the "miami herald" julie brown shows that use of force cases have nearly doubled in florida's prisons since 2008. last fiscal year correctional officers self reported more than 7,000 incidents. this increase led the secretary of the florida corrections department to order a full independent audit of its use of force procedures. that audit begins tomorrow. the department also instituted a number of reforms, including a database of inmate death details and a mental health ombudsman, all of which would be a way toward reducing violence within florida's prisons. yet latamda ellington's family waits for answers. attorneys have written a letter calling on the department of justice to investigate they are death. still with me is julie brown from the "miami herald," back is
cornell brooks, ceo of the naacp and in las vegas, nevada, darrell brooks, the attorney for ellington's family and the founder of the parks and crump law firm. attorney parks, have you heard any response from the attorney general and secondly, why is it important for that investigation to be happening right now? >> it's important because thus far in the investigation of latanda's death, we've not had the type of transparency you'd like to see. when she first passed away, the medical examiner would not tell us what the cause of death was or if law enforcement was involved. that caused her family to have to do their own autopsy, which as you know is very expensive. we did an autopsy. once we got involved with this case, we went public and talked about our initial findings of the blunt force trauma to the lower abdominal area that had to have been caused by kicking or
punching. well, the very next day the secretary of corrections comes out and says that's not what our autopsy showed. so clearly there's a discrepancy between what their autopsy said, what the doc is saying and what we found. thus, we believe there should be an independent person to investigate what has happened here. beyond that, though, melissa, i think the magnitude of the whole situation, 108 death cases, i believe the florida department of law enforcement is very capable but this is a situation that warrants the interceding of the fbi and the department of justice civil rights division. >> hold for me for one second because, piper, i want to come to you on the lived experience of this. we have the reporting and we have a clear call for a federal inquest into this. but i am wondering about the women who knew latandra ellington who may know something but must also recognize this letter goes out and ten days later, she's dead.
help us to understand what that lived experience must be like for those women in that jail right now. >> for those women in lowell, they are probably scared and they are probably also very hopeful, because the scrutiny of, you know, smart reporters and any national attention that is brought down on what is essentially an incredibly closed world, every single prison and jail is like a closed universe. and prisoners' ability to gain justice from the hierarchy that supervises them is minimal. >> unless we open that universe up. >> unless the walls of prisons and jails are transparent. unless the public can see it and the public is engaged. right now i'm sure that those women are scared, really scared, and they have lost latandra and there have been a lot of other questionable deaths because of medical negligence and other reasons. but anything that your viewers
and other folks in the public can do to let florida and i think really to let the federal government know that they're watching and that they're calling for results is important, because no one should expect the state of florida to really do much while rick scott is governor. >> so i will point out we do have a statement from mckinley lewis, who is the press secretary for the florida department of corrections. he says as the department continues to fully cooperate with law enforcement partners, we look forward to the conclusion of all active and ongoing investigations so that the truth about the circumstances behind any raand l incidents will be known. this is from mckinley lewis, the press secretary for the florida department of corrections. so cornell, you at the naacp, the entire history of your organization is about advocacy around these closed moments, whether that closed world was prison or that closed world was the jim crow world. how, then, do we prick the public consciousness so that
these women and these men in these institutions know they are not alone, that we are watching? >> let's start with a moral assumption, that being this. a prison sentence does not represent a death sentence in terms of your humanity. let's start there. miss ellington is a human being. was a citizen of our country. the fact that she could lose her life while being in prison for theft, for theft, and that we have 14 years of suspicious deaths in the department of corrections and the department of juvenile justice, an uptick in the last four, 32 security officers being fired as a consequence of their relationship in terms of these suspicious deaths, we have a crisis. we have a crisis. and we need the department of justice to get involved. the naacp has called on the department of justice to get involved and to launch an investigation.
we look to meet with them soon. we have been engaged with the families. the point being here this is not a matter of women enduring indignities in private, this is an assault on our public conscience, on our public morality. and we can't afford to have any part of america closed off to the constitution in our conscience. >> attorney parks, the family of latandra ellington, they have lost a beloved -- four children having lost their mother. what does justice even look like right now? >> it looks like, you know, last monday we met with the agents from the florida department of law enforcement, but i think it gets even deeper here. one thing that came out earlier that hopefully you know about, latandra actually spoke to her aunt tuesday, she died on a wednesday. but tuesday, that afternoon, she had called to the jail and the officer called her present. the officer on the phone promised the family that they would keep her safe. less than 18 hours later, she's
dead. so not only do we have the letters, but we have this phone call with a representative from the prison talking to a family member, assuring them that she's going to be okay. less than 18 hours later, she's dead. >> i'm understanding that when they called to say that she had passed, that it was just sort of -- it was the chaplain called and said that she was gone but no other official has offered compelling information to this family? >> nothing at all. zero. and they are very mad about what has happened. i mean she has a daughter who is a freshman at florida a&m. she has three other children as well. and they have lost their mother with no answers. i must tell you, the hardest thing in the world for me in my job is to look them in the face and have no answers for them. i think they deserve answers, they deserve them quickly, not have to wait a long time because of this problem within the florida department of corrections. >> thank you to daryl parks in las vegas. we have more on this when we come back. we're going to talk about whether or not something can be done, talking to a florida lawmaker when we come back. they t
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in 1971 the psychology department at stanford university conducted an experiment. 24 student volunteers were divvied up and cast as either prisoners or guards. the study the last two weeks was cut short when things got out of hand. researchers found guards subjecting prisoners to cruel and dehumanizing abuse, and those prisoners started to show signs of extreme stress. this experiment is now considered a classic psychology study, revealing how much the psychological effects of authority can impact all of us. if we are asked what leads to excessive use of force, we should also consider the psychology of those being paid to keep order. joining me now from tampa is state senator arthenia joyner, a democrat from florida. let me ask you about this. what kinds of working conditions exist for cos that you think might be contributing to what appears to be a pattern of abuse
within florida's system? >> well, the correctional officers in florida work 12-hour shifts, two days on and two days off, but lately they have been called in to work overtime, to work 16 hours. consequently these conditions are very stressful to them. however, that is not an excuse for what has happened in florida prisons. >> right, it's absolutely not an excuse. part of what i'm wondering here, as you start thinking as a legislator about how to address these questions, what do you see as root causes of things that you're going to want to legislate around? >> well, we need to provide more training and we need to appropriate additional funds so that these correctional officers will have better pay and we can attract more qualified persons to serve in these positions. but, you know, what has happened
is systemic, it's absolutely a culture of corruption and cover-up. and it's time for the governor to step up to the plate and call for an independent investigation by the department of justice. it's going to end up being rick scott's katrina because if you read all the reports, which i've done, all of the stories, rather, it's riveting. i couldn't sleep. anyone with a conscience and has compassion for people would know that we are in trouble in this state in our corrections system, and it's incumbent upon the governor to step up now and call for the department of justice, which is the group, the organization that has the responsibility of providing for the protection of the civil rights of those incarcerated in state institutions. >> hold on for me. julie, i do want to point out we
did invite both current governor scott and former governor crist to appear this morning. neither one of them accepted our invitation to do so. but have you in your reporting, and you have been following some of this for years, has there been any responsiveness on the part of elected officials beyond the state senators and representatives? at the top, have they been responsive? >> no. governor scott has been pretty quiet on this. he will say if he's asked questions while he's on the campaign trail or at functions, he's answered them and he feels that that's his public statement on it, but he's not really come to the forefront. he's allowed his secretary for the department of corrections, michael cruz, to speak for him. but this is an election year. it's a very tight race. and the fact that he isn't saying a whole lot i think speaks to citizens who are going to the polls and going to vote. >> and, piper, i want to go back for a moment to this point about the closed system. because it does feel like we have here elected officials
calling for an opening. we have here the attorney calling for an opening. we don't know, we still don't know what happened to latandra ellington. she don't know what happened to people who were killed in the system four years ago. what keeps correctional officers themselves from standing up? it's a closed system, right, but this is never just one -- is there any way to imagine correctional officers coming out and saying, you know what, i'm no longer working there, but i have to tell you the story i know about what happened on the inside? >> i think that folks -- you know, there are many people who are thoughtful people, who are good people, who do work within corrections who desperately want to work in systems that are more functional, more fair, more just. i talk to them all the time and i'm sure that you've talked to some of them. so i know that there have been, you know, health care workers who have spoken to you off the record, of course, because they fear for their jobs about the horrific things that happen in florida prisons.
now, latandra died in a confinement cell. i just want folks who are watching to understand that the most secure part of a prison is the solitary confinement area. people do not come and go without being noticed from those kinds of units, so there's no way whoever hurt her and killed her got into that confinement unit without other people knowing it. and that culture of silence is just incredibly disturbing. you know, they talk about the thin blue line when we talk about police on the streets. the same thin blue line, that culture of silence exists, i think in all parts of law enforcement quite frankly, because that helps bolster the authority structure and the power that is consolidated within our criminal justice system. now, you know, when correctional officers and other prison staff are rarely held accountable for violence, abuse or assault
within prisons, and that's happening on lirikers island, right here in new york city, it's always painted as a few bad apple. oh, we caught the bad apple. but the truth of the matter is no prison staffer assaults or abuses prisoners without a very powerful sense that they can get away with it because of the hierarchy and because of the culture that is within the institution that they're within. and it is a leadership question pure and simple. when we see prisons that run well and that have low levels of violence, you always see really effective and conscientious leadership. and when we see facilities or in the case of florida entire state systems where violence runs rampant at the hands of staff, that is -- has to go to the top. that goes to cruz, that goes to scott, that goes to wardens. >> state senator joyner, i also presume the very top of the democratic system isme meant toe
the voters. is there some way that you can help to hold accountable this system? >> yes. we're going to ask the republican-led florida legislature to conduct hearings throughout the state of florida so that the people will know what's going on in our prisons. and if they fail to respond in the affirmative, then the florida legislated black caucus i am sure will take up the fight, because floridians need to know that their loved ones are not safe in florida prisons, and it's not all correctional officers. it goes to the very top and we know that. the evidence shows that. >> thank you, state senator arthenia joyner in tampa, florida. thank you to julie brown and cornell william brooks of the naacp and to piper kerman. still to come this morning, nerdland friends allison and jamie have a new book. but first anita sarkeesian and
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pong, created in 1969. it was the first popular video game many people ever saw. heralded as a milestone, this prim afternoon little game helped laumplnch a multi billio dollar industry. today it allows millions of gamers around the globe to intercom plex worlds with engaging narratives and characters. we think of as technological new progress. there are also parts of these extraordinary new games that have me yearning for the simplicity of pong. i'm about to show some images that can be disturbing and are not suitable for the youngest nerdland viewers. take a look behind me. these images are all from popular video games played by millions of people and they feature women in troubling, vie
laeng -- violent and dehumanizing ways. in this one they howl and cheer a woman. here a woman is repeatedly slapped in the game far cry 3. here, a woman lays dead and apparently irrelevant in this image from mafia 2, joe's adventures. the games are fantasy, but the threat of violence all too real for one woman who dared to say enough. when she spoke out against these representations of women, she received death threats in return. we're going to talk to her about what the story of gamergate is all about, next. ♪ mmm mmm mmm mm mmm mm mmmmmm here we go, here we go, here we go. ♪ fifty omaha set hut ♪ losing feeling in my toes ♪ ♪ nothing beats that new car smell ♪ ♪ chicken parm you taste so good ♪
in the lining of the esophagus. there is risk of bone fracture and low magnesium levels. side effects may include headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. if you have persistent diarrhea, contact your doctor right away. other serious stomach conditions may exist. avoid if you take clopidogrel. nexium 40 mg is only available by prescription. talk to your doctor. for free home delivery, enroll in nexium direct today. ed a lift? covergirl and olay invented facelift effect firming makeup. luxurious coverage plus the firming power of a night cream to plump skin with moisture. new facelift effect makeup from olay and easy, breezy, beautiful, covergirl. my next guest is one of the most talked about people of the moment. "rolling stone" magazine just called her pop culture's most valuable critic. others have called her a feminist, bravely confronting sexism in our culture. for two months now, anita
sarkeesian's name has been splashed across the headlines as a central figure in what's been described as a woman or women in the video game industry, something the media has come to refer to as gamergate. she and other women who work and write about the industry say they have been threatened, intimidated and terrified by a seemingly endless wave of anonymous threats from what they suspect are extremist members of a male dominated gamer community. the story exploded back in august, when the ex-boyfriend of an indie game developer posted a scathing online attack against the woman. among the damaging accusations, that she had slept with a reporter to get a favorable review on one of her games. the allegations of corruption caught the attention of the media, triggering an angry wave of tweets and e-mails targeting both the press and women in the gaming industry. but anita sarkeesian says for her the threats started two years earlier. that's when the social critic began exploring the sexist
depictions of women in video games on her youtube program, feminist frequency. >> plot devices that cap allies on female trauma for shock value functions in much the same way as hitting a child or kicking the dog things do. >> no one defies me. >> there, you happy now? >> since going public with her criticism of the industry, she says angry gamers have smeared her reputation, violated her personal life and, most alarmingly, threatened her safety. back in september, she received a bomb threat while at an awards banquet in san francisco. then just days ago she cancelled a speaking engagement at utah state university after the school received an anonymous threat from an alleged gunman who promised to shoot students if she spoke. the fbi is now reportedly involved in sarkeesian's case. in the meantime more women are
coming forward with similar stories of harassment and threats. >> it's literally been the worst thing i've ever experienced in my life. they have targeted my financial assets of my company. you know, they have set up fake accounts to impersonate me online with me saying just horrible, horribly discriminating things against people in an effort to destroy my professional reputation. they have actually set up burner accounts with fake, you know, stories about my life and have sent them to prominent journalists. >> video game designer brianna wu said the repeated threats forced her and hr husband to go into hiding for their own safety. in the meantime, anita sarkeesian says something has to be done to change the culture of the video game industry and she intends to be part of the solution. she joins me now live from san francisco. anita, good morning. >> good morning. >> this is appalling and also maybe difficult for folks who aren't part of the gaming
industry to completely understand. so help us to understand -- we watch your feminist frequency and you're very sort of measured, you're clear that you love parts of the game, that you're part of it, but also that you have a critique. how in the world does that end up with death threats and bomb scares? >> it is really hard for people outside of the industry to understand this. i think even for a lot of people in the industry to understand that this is what it's come to. you know, one of the reasons why i think this is happening is in the last few years, there's been a very strong push towards making gaming a more inclusive space, making games more inclusive, making the industry more inclusive, and there's more and more voices speaking up to demand this change. an i think that there is a section of mostly male gamers who are fighting against that, who are trying to preserve the status quo of gaming as a male dominated space. their reaction is often in these ways that you were just describing, violent -- threats of violence, attacking our character, trying to discredit us, you know, threats to --
massage nis and sexist slurs, all of those sorts of things. >> help us understand the discussion to cancel the talk. i want people to understand the extent of this threat. i get rape threats online. we see the horrible things women get. for the most part you can say this is horrifying but it's social media and then you move forward. but you made a decision to cancel this talk because you took those threats very seriously. why in this case? >> i do, and i take all of the threats that i receive very seriously. this is the first time i cancelled an event due to threat. actually the reason why i cancelled was when i spoke to the police that was responsible for increasing security at the event, i asked them about utah's concealed gun laws and if they could screen for weapons. now, to be clear, the threat that was received was about a massive school -- like a massacre, right, a school shooting. so i asked them what they were going to do to screen for weapons and firearms.
they said that they couldn't do anything. i requested patdowns or metal detectors and they said no. so they wouldn't even check for permits to see if people, you know, were permitted to use -- to have firearms on them. and i think that this is ludicrous to put me and the students' safety at risk when there's literally a threat about a school shooting with firearms. >> i want to back up for one second because on the one hand there's kind of the horror of the violence and the threats. but i also want to go to the content of your actual critiques. one of the most important to me is your claim, and i'd like you to play this out for my audience a little bit, that sexism and masogheny are bad for the imagination, they're bad for gaming as an industry because they're uninteresting. >> yeah, absolutely. one of the things that's so interesting and almost sad is that we will suspend our disbelief when it comes to
dragons and ogres and magic in these games. often we'll have massive invisible backpacks full of weapons that we can use at our disposal in these games. but somehow the idea that the exploitation of women or a world free of the oppression of women is just deemed too bizarre to be believable. >> yeah. let me -- final question. so many times when bad things do happen, you will hear this kind of low level, the games made me do it. how can you -- how do we do a reasonable smart pop culture critique without just turning into the games made me do it in terms of violence? >> right, right. yeah, i am definitely not advocating that there's a one-to-one correlation at all but i do this work because i think media matters. i think that the media helps to shape our attitudes and beliefs and value systems. and so what does it say about our society when the primary means of conflict resolution in most of these major games are about violence.
>> anita sarkeesian in san francisco, california. thank you for continuing to speak up, and stay safe. >> thank you. up next, citizen radio comes to nerdland. our friends allison and jamie have something new to tell you about. great. this is the last thing i need. [ hand ] seriously? the last thing you need is some guy giving you a new catalytic converter when all you got is a loose gas cap. let's take this puppy over to midas and get you some of that good old midas touch. hey you know what? i'll drive! i really didn't think this thugh. [ male announcer ] get the midas touch maintenance package including an oil cnge for only $24.99. and here's a deal, use your midas credit card and get a rebate of $25. oil. tires. brakes. everything. trust the midas touch. [ male announcer ] how did edward jones become one of the biggest financial services companies in the country? hey. yours? not anymore. come on in. [ male announcer ] by meeting you more than halfway. it's how edward jones makes sense of investing. come on in. [ male announcer ] by meeting you more than halfway.
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if you're a regular viewer of this program, you probably recognize these two faces. allison kilkenny and jamie kilstein, two of our frequent guests here on mhp. maybe you recall when allison and i cheered on 9-year-old student activist ashon johnson, or when jamie shared the deeply personal details of his friendship with the late, great robin williams. heck, we even sent jamie into the street once to find out where new yorkers were in terms of reacting to the price tag of $1 million placed on each of ten parking spots at a new condo building downtown. >> on a scale from 1 to class war, how mad are you that a $1 million parking space exists?
>> it's not on that meter. >> what meter would it be on? >> the what the [ bleep ] meter. >> in other words, allison and jamie are official citizens of nerdland. no voter citizens. no voter i.d. i÷fcrequired. and true nerds at home probably also know this married duo are co-founders of -- and cohosts of citizen radio. an independent comedy and news pod cast that challenges mainstream news and analysisñr with pippy satire and critique. journalist, jamie and allison are, xdñiw quote, a modern dair ( veganú sjqae i don't know if you can be a vegan bonnyñr and clyde. they co-authored their new book, the role of independent media in the modern newsr they document the failures and follies of the mainstream press and how they precipitated the rise ofok citizen radio and oth
indepqq news outlets. chapter by chapter, they break joining mer what in thelp world weret(v9"ut doing with ralph nader in a bathtub? >> okay, he wasn't technically inrfq bathtub. i feel that's iup5iq9q to point out. people already make fun of his campaign that i don't want them to be like, poor guy hadr into a bathtub for press. when we started the show, wefáf$ we lived out of our car for two years touring around to any place that would book us.xd and weok started the show, we d the pod cast on cell okphones. there was like this sound board you could use online. and if we were in theokxd same together. u massive feedback. we had to be in different rooms doing the show together. >> one of you ends up in the bathroom. >> i do.
so i end up in the bathtub, and this is when we had the really shady studij apartment. so everything was really close anyway. and this is like our first interview. ralph nader thought it was a real show.xd i don't know how welp -- >> i may have lied to him a little bit. >> you got to lie a littleu bit. >>ó[ it's a billion people listening, i have to do this show. so i was so e everyone to have health care and everyone to ould get so excited literally run out from the living room fromfá the bathtub, literally in the bathtub was where i had w3reception. and i would give allison theñi thumbs up and you'd hear screeching feedback and -- >> get back in theçó bathroom. >> shexd would yell &lñ me thro the phone. >> this does happen here. every once in a áo@while, my executive producer eric will get so excited, he'll run from the control room into here on commercials and give me a thumbs up.
>> you don't have to scream, eric, get back int(@áge bathtub. >> sometimes. sometime33 c1 okay. so tell me what is a #newsfail? is itok ideological? is it how we do news? what is it? >> yeah. dtqi p whole bunch of people wh aren't represented in the media. so, for example, cnn has been terrible recentlyxdc with cultu. we saw it duringjf steubenville there was sympathy rapists not so much to the rapeá victim. sor example of a news fail. >> you just said cnn,r competitive r but yákñr guysçó havelp critiqu% everybody. not like this is an t(msnbc lov( fest. >> no. >> you all haveçó a critique ofy position on ed snowden. tell me about that. >> yeah, so, one of thekk we try to get across in the b , bookjf, and we don't talk about that in the book. but we talked@oout itfá because we're frienc1ñ and0l we disagre with you. we talk about that you can have
@&h(lc% right? like you canñrq support+ barack obama and be against drone strikes. you can be against barack obama and not bew3 racist. you can supportc1y0w wiki4e transparencyb.t( but think+ jul3 assanggñi]ñr isko human garbage. >> i would not have said that. >> i'm saying that. >> i'm soying that. book. it's okay to support principles and not like teams.s7 >>ko çóyep.çó >> so i thinkñi it's importantñ sayokñilpt( the surveillanceñir and maybe we shouldn't get pulled into this, you know, culture of celebrity worship. >> yeah. my critique of ñisnowden had be sááp+eçó me because this is can something that has been
great democratic experiment that reminds usxd of things like han up, don't shoot. it's social mefç often outfront. but then democracy being democracy means that the mob can sometimes be mobbish. >> sure. >> i want to play this moment, jamie, of y/áñj)ráhárjuxd talking about daniel tash and> all these@ ÷)%r progressive comicsc i admire cae out andñr defended this guy and defended rape culture. and what's sad about that. comics don't agree on anything. everybody's talkingñi about the comedy community. are youokfá friends with elon? yeah. well, elon got a special, i hatc elon. we don't even have health insurance. butd rape culture. comedians assemble. that's hár#ying this is the sword we want to die on.6zk >> so you have 40 seconds. but twitter wentlpg
no one cared. ah when i was like -- i didn't want to say -- there's no censorshipú going you can st pretend you'rew3jf edgy, but wh ujátáhc funny.ñi it was thousands of death threats. it was like a bat signal that went out.ñie1 and i want to say this especially becausew3 anita was and alison, what i got in a month, thousands of e-m they get every da2;ñ every day.t( >> thank you to jamie andxd alison. book(-e6ñok once again is " #ne on sale now. and if you buy aok copy and bri it to one of his stand-up gigs, he'll sign it for you.t( that's our show for today. thank you for watching. i'll see yo5 next saturday at 10:00 a.m. eastern. now it's time for a preview ofxv
"weekends with alex witt."c family and friends preparet for the worst after a grim discovery this weekend.t(r also, inside the hot zone, you're going to hear from an "associated press" photograrfr unfolding in okafrica. also, new information about one of the nurses infected with the1 +táuáyjflp ptu1ñ new pictures of how her dog is doing in quarantine. don't go anywhere. ♪ [ male announcer ] when you see everyone in america almost every day, you notice a fewhings. like the fact that you're pretty attached to these.
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